It is with a full heart I share the news that the littlest Allen gal has successfully graduated to an open air bassinet AND breast/bottle feeding. Wednesday-Friday I moved back into the hospital for 48 hours of "protected breastfeeding" where I sat and fed with Emme around the clock. At just 33 weeks, to prepare the doctors reminded me she may have no interest yet and may not be able to feed. Fortunately, she was a pro - instantly taking to both the bottle and breast and being able to take about 20 mls on average before tiring out - that is half of her feeding!
She is still on the gavage feeding tube and will remain so until she can take almost all of her feeding by mouth, but until then we are continuing to celebrate her success though aware that she still needs to get her As and Bs in order- her heart rate dropped to zero during one feeding which was terrifying as I was holding her at the breast- still working on the suck-breathe-swallow reflex. While doing the 48 hours, we did have some set backs as she was vomiting extensively and not gaining weight, but it was determined that we were feeding her too much through the gavage as she was successfully latching and getting lots of milk very quickly. We now aspirate her (suck up all of the milk from her stomach to measure through a feeding tube) which is gross and tough to watch, but it is the best way to properly measure her success.
Emme also graduated to an open air bassinet which is very exciting, though she has had great difficulty maintaining her temperature so there is a possibility she will be moved back. Today Grant and I also had the opportunity to bathe her which was great fun- photos coming soon! In reflecting how far we have come in the past 5 weeks, it is incredible to see her growth - both physically and on our community who continues to pray. While we know we won't be bringing her home for Christmas, there is hope we will kickstart the new year with our family of four under one roof.
Sorry for the quick update- have to pump, wrangle the 16 month old and hopefully get some Christmas presents finally! xo